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Design, Development, and Test of Shuttle/Centaur G-Prime Cryogenic Tankage Thermal Protection Systems

  • Peter N. MacNeil
  • James E. England
  • Richard H. Knoll
Part of the A Cryogenic Engineering Conference Publication book series (ACRE, volume 33)

Abstract

The thermal protection systems (TPS) for the Shuttle/Centaur were designed to provide fail-safe thermal protection during prelaunch, launch ascent, and on-orbit operations as well as during potential abort, where the Shuttle and Centaur would return to Earth. The TPS selected used a helium-purged polyimide foam beneath three radiation shields for the liquid-hydrogen (LH2) tank and radiation shields only for the liquid-oxygen (LO2) tank. A double-walled vacuum bulkhead separated the two tanks. The LH2 tank had one 1.9 cm-thick layer of foam on the forward bulkhead and two layers on the larger-area sidewall. Full scale tests of the flight vehicle in a simulated Shuttle cargo bay gave total prelaunch heating rates of 25.9 and 12.9 kW for the LH2 and LO2 tanks, respectively. Calorimeter tests on a representative sample of the LH2 tank sidewall TPS indicated that the measured unit heating rate would rapidly decrease from the prelaunch rate of ≈300 W/m2 to a desired rate of < 4 W/m2 once on-orbit.

Keywords

Thermal Protection Radiation Shield Flight Vehicle Thermal Protection System Foam Panel 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter N. MacNeil
    • 1
  • James E. England
    • 1
  • Richard H. Knoll
    • 2
  1. 1.Space Systems DivisionGeneral DynamicsSan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.NASA-Lewis Research CenterClevelandUSA

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